Every small business owner knows that customer service is a critical part of achieving lasting success. Without taking proper care of your customers, you can’t hope to grow, expand and prosper. There are many ways to enhance the customer service capabilities of your e-commerce business, but live chat is among the most effective options. Still, simply adding live chat to your site isn’t enough. You need to know how to use it properly to ensure that it actually benefits your customers, and these tips will help you get there:
- Use the Right Technology – There are lots of live chat solutions out there, and some are far better than others. The best software allows you to chat with your customers quickly, easily and efficiently. You shouldn’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops to make it work on your site. With a cloud-based live chat service like HelpOnClick, you can quickly implement a live chat solution that will dramatically enhance your site’s customer service capabilities.
- Keep Your Audience in Mind – Your live chat representatives should be trained to understand who they will be assisting. As a small business owner, you should already have a clear idea about your target audience. Who does it consist of, and what kinds of expectations do they have? Whether you’re targeting a young, hip demographic or an older, more professional one, your reps should know how to communicate effectively with them.
- Be Aware of the Most Common Issues – Like many e-commerce businesses, you may notice a pattern when it comes to the kinds of questions that people pose to your live chat reps. It’s in your best interests to try to address these questions to keep the same problems from occurring again and again. Your site should have a FAQ that includes the most common questions and answers too. Still, your reps should be made aware of these questions as well and prepared to address them quickly and efficiently.
- Support should be Easy to Find – The last thing you should do is bury your live chat support on a random page. Instead, prominent links to initiate live chat should be placed throughout the site. Regardless of what a person is doing on your site and where he happens to be, he shouldn’t have to dig around to access live support. When people can quickly get the help they need, they’re more likely to stick around long enough to become paying customers!
- Be Warm and Personable – Train your live chat reps to be warm, friendly and personable at all times. If possible, include at least one photo of a friendly, smiling rep near the link to your live chat service. Show people that they will be treated with respect when they ask for help. Monitor chat logs to make sure that your reps are following through.
- Be Aware of Your Customer Service Demands – Some e-commerce businesses handle a very small volume of questions and issues from customers. Others are positively swamped with such activity. What kinds of customer service demands does your business deal with on a daily basis? Will your live chat support be able to accommodate them? Keep at it until you are able to handle your customers’ needs properly.
- Don’t Make People Wait – When people see that your site offers live chat support, they’re going to expect to be helped promptly. Nothing is more frustrating to a customer than trying to initiate a chat and being put “on hold.” Fortunately, services like HelpOnClick have virtual agents that can fill in when all of the live chat representatives are busy. This eliminates long wait times and keeps frustration at bay.
- Learn from Live Chats – A lot can be learned by keeping track of live support chats. Create a log of them and try to classify them in some way. Patterns are sure to emerge. What can you learn from those patterns? Perhaps one of your products has a flaw that can be addressed in some way, or maybe you can add a little more information to your product descriptions to cut back on confusion. In this way, live chat software can actually help you improve your business to give it an incredible competitive edge.
- Offer Around-the-Clock Support – Like the vast majority of e-commerce businesses, yours is probably patronized by people from all over the place. You don’t shut down your site during non-traditional business hours, and you shouldn’t shut down your customer support, either. Your live chat support should be available at all times.
Be a Customer Service Star with Live Chat By keeping these tips in mind, you will be able to give your customers the support they need. As your company grows, its customer service needs may change too. Make sure to use a live chat solution that can adapt to suit those ever-changing needs.
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Neran Ashkenazy, Founder of HelpOnClick LTD. A global provider of live chat solutions. When he is not working on his next chat script version, you might find him writing in his private or HelpOnClick company’s blog.